Ford is one step closer to divesting itself of most of its components operations now that it has agreed to sell a Saline, Michigan, plant to a French supplier.
France-based Faurecia says that it will acquire the interior components plant and its 2,100 employees this summer. About half of the plant's workers will be offered positions in Saline, while most of the others will be granted transfer rights to move to other Ford plants. Later, Faurecia says that it and a U.S.-based supplier will form a joint venture facility called Detroit Manufacturing Systems inside the Motor City's limits.
Over the last eight years, Ford has sold off nearly all of its component-producing subsidiaries in an attempt to divest itself of all of its former Visteon operations.
Once Ford's in-house supplier, Visteon was spun off in 2000 in an effort to become a viable independent firm. That effort suffered a high-profile blow in 2005 when Visteon began a restructuring program and rapidly shed workers. At the time, Ford agreed to dispose of 23 former Visteon facilities; including today's announcement, the Michigan automaker has managed to sell off 21 plants.